What makes up a strong marriage? What is required of one or both spouses for a marriage to be strong?

I like how Ashley Willis put it when she said, “A strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time. It’s usually a husband and wife taking turns being strong for the other. In those moments when your spouse is weak, be strong for them. In those moments when you’re weak, allow them to be your strength.”

This has been more true than I ever thought it would be in our marriage, especially as we have both dealt with on & off chronic illnesses — which has seemingly been the “for worst” part of our vows.

And it is a good thing — that one of us has (almost) always been strong when the other was weak.

It’s a beautiful thing.

It honestly feels like a necessary thing… to keep our hope alive and to stave off despair.

I try to thank God for the strength of my husband every day. Particularly on my worst & weakest days — the days when his strength is all the more apparent to me.

I know it might be easier for him to not be around on those days — to run away from my weakness — my illness, my feeling unwell, my fill-in-the-blank. But like our Father, our Lord, who loves us in the most perfect way, my husband has modeled that same love that doesn’t run away but comes even closer when my weakness makes an appearance.

Don’t get me wrong, my husband doesn’t love me perfectly — and neither do I, him. We’re a work in progress.

But this has been my experience the past couple of weeks as I’ve been struggling with feeling unwell: my husband has been my strength, he has given me hope, he has encouraged me in my faith, and he has done those little things — like making dinner (or going out to pick it up) and making me coffee in the morning, and going out to the vitamin store to pick up things he think will help me feel better — that make life just a little easier to bear when things are hard.

And I’m eternally grateful that he has been our strength (my strength) the past few weeks.

That sort of strength is the kind that burrows deep down within my heart and helps me to be our strength (his strength) when he is feeling weak… It’s a two-way street, and the only way we’re able to walk it is because of the graces that come from the Sacrament of Marriage, and from the Holy Spirit.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for strong men — fearless men, who don’t run away. Thank you for men who serve & work tirelessly for us and our families. Thank you for my husband. Please continue to bless our husbands with this strength from the Holy Spirit, and equally help us to love our husbands in a life-giving way.

A strong marriage, “does not require the absence of imperfection but rather an unwavering commitment to each other until the day we are made perfect in Christ.” – Fierce Marriage

Now I’d love to hear what you think can fill in the blank here: A strong marriage is ______________________.